The Taylor Massey Project

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Calendar of Events
The Taylor Massey Project

Now in our thirteenth year, the TMP and our partners have staged 86 events, through 2013, involving 4,799 participants who have planted 4,485 trees and shrubs and picked up over 1,685 bags of litter, as well as hundreds of items too large for bags, including tires, TVs, a couch, and a kitchen sink.


Upcoming Activities

Fall 2015 Focus on Organizational Renewal and the City’s Ravine Strategy

The Taylor Massy Project, presentation from Janet Klees
6:30 pm Wednesday, September 16, Albert Campbell Library, 496 Birchmount Rd

A presentation on the enjoyment, protection, and restoration of the Taylor Massey Creek and its watershed. Learn more about the Taylor Massey Project and how they are working to protect and beautify the watercourse

Understanding Toronto’s Ravines:
Their Challenges and the Need for the City’s Ravine Strategy

10 am – 11:30, Saturday September 26, through Warden Woods
10 am – 11:30, Sunday October 11

This popular hike, delivered numerous times over the last few years, serves as a walking tutorial of the challenges of Toronto’s ravine system and the need for an over-arching ravine strategy. Hike a lovely trail between steep slopes with mature forests, abundant bird life, and the location where Taylor Massey Creek originally met ancient Lake Iroquois. See towering glacial sand deposits near the northern entrance to the park, along with numerous areas with erosion or other stewardship challenges, such as invasive species and where a Combined Sewer enters the Creek. This hike offers an understanding of the impact of past development practices, emergency erosion repairs, and the challenges facing the City emerging Ravine Strategy.

Meet at the corner of Warden and St Clair. Rain or shine.

Updates for 2014 and this past spring need to be uploaded, but the summaries below cover our events through 2013.

Spring, 2013

Saturday, April 27: 10 - 11:30 am - 7th Annual Warden Woods Clean-up

This event is once again being led by the Clairlea Regent Heights Neighbourhood Association, with support from Hope Community Church, A Rocha Canada, and the City of Toronto. Meet at the parking lot off of Pharmacy, about 600 m north of the Danforth. Gloves provided but bring them if you have them. Sturdy footgear and weather-appropriate clothing recommended. Please note there are no washrooms in Warden Woods.

Saturday, May 10: 1 - 3 pm - 19th Annual Clean-up at Farlinger Ravine

The local Creek Crew, led by Janet, Harry, and neighbours, are at it again for what we think is Toronto’s oldest continuous ravine clean-up. Meet at the end of Miniot Circle, or come in via the bridge behind the Giant Tiger on Kennedy Road south of Eglinton. Bags and gloves supplied by the City of Toronto, but feel free to bring your own gloves, a rake, or a wheelbarrow. Sturdy footgear and weather-appropriate clothing recommended. Please note there are no washrooms in Farlinger, but there is a Tim’s within a 5 minute walk.

Fall, 2012

October 1: 10 - 11:30 am - The Wonders of Warden Woods

Join us for this second annual fall walk with Heritage Toronto to see the fall foliage, discuss ecological issues, and see where Taylor Massey Creek used to enter Lake Iroquois before having to cut through East York and find another path to what became Lake Ontario. Meet at the corner of St Clair and Warden, opposite the Warden subway station.

Spring, 2012

Saturday, April 21: 10 – 11:30 6th Annual Warden Woods Clean-up

Join the TMP and many partners to help clean up the park – if the kids from local schools left us anything. If not, you can choose a hike or pulling garlic mustard. Meet at the parking lot off of Pharmacy, about 600 m north of the Danforth. Join members from the Clairlea Regent Heights Neighbourhood Association, Hope Community Church, and A Rocha Canada, with garbage bags and gloves provided by the City of Toronto.

Sunday, April 22: 1 – 4 pm 18th Annual Community Clean-up at Farlinger Ravine

Toronto’s oldest continuous ravine clean-up rolls on, coordinated by The Creek Crew led by Janet, Harry, and neighbours. Meet at the end of Miniot Circle, or come in via the bridge behind the Giant Tiger on Kennedy Road south of Eglinton. Bags and gloves supplied by the City of Toronto, but feel free to bring your own gloves, a rake, or a wheelbarrow. There is even a community BBQ following the event, thanks to donations from No Frills and Al-Jannat.

The Following Weekend 9th Annual ULC Creek Event

Once again, Underwriters Laboratories of Canada will stage a creek activity involving staff and families. ULC played a strong role in past efforts to plant the Underwriters reach, from Lawrence down to Ashtonbee, and will this year take on a local clean-up, followed by a BBQ.

Other Notes of Interest

  • The TMP hopes to hold a fundraising pub night in May.
  • We are pleased to announce that the TMP will be hosting another fall walk with Heritage Toronto.



1-3 pm Sunday, April 17 – 17th Annual Farlinger Ravine Clean-up and Planting: The clean-up just keeps going and going. Join Janet, Harry and the Farlinger Ravine Neighbourhood Crew, with litter bags, rakes, and gloves supplied by the City of Toronto. Wheelbarrows always welcome. Donors for a BBQ after the clean-up include Pine Hills Cemetery, Giant Tiger, Tim Horton's, Second Base, Fred and Theresa's No Frills. Farlinger can be accessed from the end of Miniott Circle, from the back of the parking lot of the Giant Tiger on Kennedy south of Eglinton, or off the north side of Foxridge, near Kennedy. Rain or shine, as always.

10–noon, Saturday, April 30 - Warden Woods Clean-up: Once again, the members of the Clairlea Regent Heights Neighbourhood Association will take the lead in a community clean-up, joined this year by A Rocha Canada and the Church of the Resurrection. Litter bags and gloves provided by the City of Toronto; water and hand sanitizer by the TMP; snacks by A Rocha. Meet in the parking lot off of Pharmacy, about 800m north of the Danforth. Rain or shine, so please dress appropriately, with sturdy footwear.

May 14 – 8th Farlinger Ravine Planting: For the eighth year in a row, staff and families from Underwriters’ Laboratories Canada will join the TMP in efforts to regenerate the Creek, followed by a company BBQ. This year, ULC will not be planting along Underwriters’ Road but in support the efforts of the Farlinger Ravine Neighbourhood Crew, who worked diligently to obtain plants donated by Hydro One to help regenerate an area under a hydro line.


Thursday, April 1 – How about a canoe with those Chicken Wings? Sixteen people attended this fun and fund-raising dinner, which collected over $400.00 toward our annual budget of $500.00. Thanks to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority for donating a canoe for Paddle the Don, which we raffled.

Saturday, April 17 - 7th Annual Underwriters’ Corporate Community Celebration: Forty-five staff and families members from Underwriters Laboratories of Canada held a great event, mulching 100 of the 1,675 trees and shrubs planted in the previous 6 years, picking up 25 bags of litter along with roofing tile and chunks of asphalt, and holding a fabulous BBQ. Thanks to RoseMary and Martin for their dedication.

Saturday, April 24 - Warden Woods Ravine Clean-up: Once again, the members of the Clairlea Regent Heights Neighbourhood Association were supported by members of Hope Community Church, with more than 50 people picking up well over 75 bags of litter. We even had a TMP member in hip-waders, picking bits of plastic out of the creek. With obvious signs that another group had cleaned up during the Mayor’s Twenty Minute make-over, the park is the cleanest it has looked in

Sunday, April 25th - 16th Annual Farlinger Ravine Neighbourhood Clean-up and Planting: Another amazing event staged by Janet, Harry and the Farlinger Ravine Neighbours and Friends. Litter bags, gloves, and about 50 plants were supplied by the City of Toronto, and others contributing to the event and BBQ afterwards included Pine Hills Cemetery, Giant Tiger, the Church of the Epiphany, Tim Horton's, Envirolet, Second Base, Fred and Theresa's No Frills. Final numbers were 66 people, those 50 trees, and well over 100 bags of trash, plus tires, shopping carts, etc.

Saturday May 15 – Garlic Mustard Pull: This event and our thanks belong to the Toronto Field Naturalists and the local Warden Woods Stewardship Team. Twelve folks pulled a huge pile of this invasive non-native ravine-spoiler.

Sunday, May 16th – Planting in Warden Woods: Over 20 people from A Rocha Canada worked in hot conditions in tough soil in three locations to plant 125 trees and shrubs provided by the City of Toronto, with shovels, mulch pails, water, and a few pairs of gloves provided by the TMP. Huge thanks to Paul Abell, Jenny, and other members of the team for a great job of co-ordination.

October 17 – Farlinger Ravine Planting and WWF Walk-about: About 25 people helped plant fifty trees and shrubs supplied by the City of Toronto, followed by an energetic discussion about the City’s Wet Weather Flow Master Plan, both across the city and locally. Thanks to Janet, Harry and the Farlinger Ravine Neighbourhood Crew.

October 23 – Warden Woods Walk-about: A small crowd of 10 people, most from the Clairlea Regent Heights Neighbourhood Association, attended this walk, but resulting in extensive discussion on many aspects of Wet Weather Flow.

October 30 – Interpretive Hike and Wet Weather Flow Update: A lively crowd of about 20 people, led by members from A Rocha Canada, wandered on and off-path throughout a rolling section of Taylor Creek Park, enjoying the colours on a grate fall day. Thanks to Paul from A Rocha.



April 18: Re-discovering a long-lost tributary to Taylor Massey Creek: Denton Creek, Gerrard Prairie and Rosetta McClain Gardens
Fifty-five people, including members of the TMP, Lost Rivers, and the Toronto Field Naturalists enjoy a walk led John Wilson, Chair, Task Force to Bring Back the Don, following parts of a lost tributary, tentatively called Dentonia Creek, from the Victoria Park subway station south to the Gerrard Prairie and then east to the Rosetta McClain Gardens.

April 19: 6th Annual Underwriters’ Corporate Community Celebration
Ninety-six staff and family members from Underwriters Laboratories of Canada and Cadbury-Adams, supported by staff from the City of Toronto, planted 250 trees and shrubs along the Creek, just north of Bertrand, bringing the total to 1,675 pieces over the last 6 years.

April 26: 15th Annual Farlinger Ravine Neighbourhood Clean-up and Planting
Fifty people helped with this year’s milestone event, planting 50 trees and shrubs and picking up over 50 bags of litter, with planting stock, mulch, litter bags, and gloves supplied by the City of Toronto, with great additional support from Pine Hills Cemetery, Fred and Theresa's No Frills, Giant Tiger, the Church of the Epiphany, and more. Special thanks to Janet, Harry, Bram, and Joanna for local coordination and hosting the fabulous pot-luck dinner.

April 25 - Warden Woods Clean-up
Sixty-six participants made this a great clean-up, led by the Clairlea Regent Heights Neighbourhood Association, aided by the Office of Councillor Adrian Heaps, Hope Community Church, and a contingent of teens working with TD Canada Trust. More than 50 bags of litter were collected, as well as the usual surprising things people think belong in a park. The TMP provided bottled water – we gotta do something about that next year - and the Councillor some high-calorie munchies.

Click to see larger image.

May 9 - Plant-a-Tree-for-Mother’s-Day in Warden Woods
, with the Clairlea Regent Heights Neighbourhood Association. An epic victory!! A cloud-burst just before the event, with thunder and lightening, kept away most of the expected numbers. Eight intrepid souls started 20 minutes late, and planted about 50 pieces before the next cloud burst. We broke for a meal and a return at 1:30. We planted 2 pieces before the skies opened again. We re-grouped and came back the next morning. Local delinquents had stolen 15 serviceberry. Undaunted, we planted the remaining stock for a total of 85 pieces. Our tight-knit was incredibly keen, happy to have persevered against the weather and the thieves, and to have completed the job.

October 18: Fall Planting in Farlinger Ravine: Twenty-three people helped in this fourth annual fall planting, with 75 pieces of stock supplied by the City of Toronto. The main event and subsequent BBQ were coordinated by the local Creek Crew, led by Janet and Harry, with support from Pine Hills Cemetery, Giant Tiger, Fred and Theresa's No Frills, the Church of the Epiphany.

October 24: Planting in Warden Woods: Seventeen members of the Clairlea Regent Heights Neighbourhood Association, with support from folks supporting from as far away as Richmond Hill, planted 75 trees and shrubs supplied by the City of Toronto.


Summaries of Past Events

Event summaries are posted during the year as available.
Past year summaries follow.


Synopsis: We had the fewest events ever, due to time spent on two key publications, Protecting Warden Woods and the first draft of Reach by Reach. Nonetheless, totals for the year were:

  • 9 events
  • 317 participants
  • 600 trees and shrubs; and
  • 135 bags of litter.

We also made 6 submissions to local agencies.
Click here to see the 2008 Event Summary.


Synopsis: We had a very busy spring, then tapered off a bit in the fall to concentrate on a few strategic issues. Nonetheless, our 2007 activities involved:

  • Staging 14 events involving 649 participants;
  • Planting 1,000 trees and shrubs;
  • Picking up 175 bags of litter; and,
  • Making 7 submissions to local agencies.

Click here to see the 2007 Event Summary.


Synopsis: The TMP enjoyed significant community support in 2006. Our increased linkages with other community organizations allowed us to collectively:

  • Stage 11 events involving 831 participants;
  • Plant 374 trees and shrubs, as well as mulch stock planted in previous years;
  • Pick up over 135 bags of litter, as well as about 40 tires, a dozen shopping carts, and mounds of other debris; and
  • Enjoy a great fundraising dinner that was both fun and filled our coffers for 2007.

We also made submissions to the City of Toronto on natural heritage protection, cycling paths, and the imperative for a watershed management approach for the Wet Weather Flow Master Plan. The Warden Woods Ecological Inventory, initiated in late 2005, will be completed in 2007. Special thanks to the Reach Co-ordinators, the City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro, Underwriters’ Laboratories Canada, LEAF, and the Bow and Arrow Pub and Restaurant. Click here to see the 2006 Event Summary.

2005 Synopsis: In our first full year as an independent organization, The TMP staged or participated in 15 events involving 1,061 people, collecting almost 200 bags of garbage, and planting over 400 trees and shrubs along the watercourse. We also launched the Warden Woods Ecosystem Inventory and submitted two position papers to local agencies. Special thanks to the Reach Co-ordinators, the City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro, Underwriters’ Laboratories Canada, LEAF, and the Bow and Arrow Pub and Restaurant. Click here to see the 2005 Event Summary.

2004 Synopsis: The first generation website gets launched in March,
and the TMP helps stage 11 events involving 477 people, with 865
trees and shrubs being planted in 4 events. Click here to see the 2004 Event Summary.

2003 Synopsis: The TMP gets started gradually, with 7 events involving 147 people, with 200 trees and shrubs planted at one event. Founding Chair Andrew McCammon puts in over 200 volunteer hours, with another 100 hours from Betty Blashill, Cara Hudson, Christine Jamieson, and Rebecca Ma, as well as other volunteers. Click here to see the 2003 Event Summary.


2008 Event Summary

April 19 – Taylor Creek Park Clean-up
Thirty-four participants from the East York Dog-walkers, led Grainne, Chris, Muddy, and Helena, and members of a local youth group, picked up about 25 bags of litter and planted 150 trees and shrubs supplied by the City of Toronto below the Haldon parking lot.

April 21 – Presentation to the Toronto Green Community
Founding Chair Andrew McCammon was one of a panel of four people speaking to 52 members at a meeting of the Toronto Green Community. Andrew provided a 15-minute powerpoint presentation on Taylor Massey Creek in an evening devoted to the Future of water in Toronto.

Saturday, April 26 – Warden Woods Planting
Seventeen neighbours from Moreau Trail, led by Elizabeth, Paul, and their daughters, planted over 100 trees and shrubs supplied by the TRCA around the bench at the north end of Warden Woods Park. Early arrivals saw a fox nurse five kits nearby.

Sunday, April 27 - Birding and Natural Heritage Protection in Warden Woods SOMETHING always impacts this walk. This year, it was a TTC strike, which prevented almost everyone from Lost Rivers and the Toronto Field Naturalists from joining us. Nonetheless, 17 people attended, led by experienced birder Christine Greenlaw.

3rd Annual St Clair Ravine Park Clean-up
Members of the Santamonica-Birchmount Neighbourhood Association, the Clairlea Neighbourhood Association, and the staff and family of Councillor Adrian Heaps did a great job. Seventeen people picked up 25 bags of litter, and a LOT of other rubbish, especially wood around the downstream headwall.

9:30 – 11:30 am Saturday, May 3 – 5th Annual Underwriters’ Corporate Community Celebration
Staff and families of Underwriters Laboratories of Canada, Cadbury-Adams, and Pine Hills Cemetery, joined by a great, anonymous crew from the University of Toronto School, provided 113 people who again worked with extra-ordinarily easy and good cheer while planting 250 trees and shrubs from the City of Toronto, represented by Councillor Michael Thompson.

In five years, this incredible group, which also included Toronto Hydro before their local facility closed, has now planted 1,425 pieces of stock, or about 40% of the total in TMP activities to date. The TMP salutes these corporate supporters as leaders in the community.

Saturday, May 10 – 14th Annual Farlinger Ravine Neighbourhood Clean-up and Planting
Another great event led by Janet, Harry, and their family! Forty participants picked up 85 bags of liter, tires, and shopping carts, while a group of 10 teens from the Woodgreen Community Centre took the lead in planting 100 trees and shrubs, especially some wonderful willow, supplied by the City of Toronto, to help stabilize eroding strreambanks.

As usual, Janet and Harry hosted a local BBQ afterwards, with food donated by Giant Tiger. A DVD player donated by Pine Hills Cemetery was drawn by Board member Frisca Ozorio.

October 4: Rather than a mass planting with small stock, the local Creek Crew brought out a small crew of dedicated people to plant larger-than-normal stock. Eleven neighbours planted and mulched 50 pieces. Special thanks to Janet, Harry, Bram, Joanna, Sophie, Beth, and Wilf.

November 25: Thirty-three people attended our fifth annual fundraising event, which received kind financial donations from Creemore Springs Brewery Limited and Pine Hills Cemetery and some great door prizes from the City of Toronto.


2007 Event Summary

March 18 – Spring Walk of Warden Woods and the Goulding Estate

Our earliest-ever event, three days after a late spring snow storm, attracted 35 participants. With nary a leaf nor a bird in sight, walk leader Andrew McCammon pointed out areas of mature maple, oak, and, beech; conifer stands favoured by migrating warblers; issues relating to non-native invasive species such as Norway maple, dog-strangling vine, and European alder; and water quantity (stream bank erosion) and quality (e-coli from spills from sanitary sewers).

Thanks to walk partners Lost Rivers and Toronto Field Naturalists, and to TMP Chair Nancy Penny for the photo.

April 15: Community Planting near Willowfield School
It was a bit blustery, but 26 people helped plant 125 trees and shrubs at the pond near the school. Thanks to all, especially organizers Nancy Penny and Rob Wright , the Terraview Willowfield Regeneration Committee, Councillor Norm Kelly, and the City of Toronto for stock, shovels, gloves, and mulch.

April 16: School Planting near Willowfield School
It was still blustery, but the rain held off until we were done, by which time 140 students from Willowfield School had planted another 125 trees and shrubs at the pond near the school. Thanks to organizers Nancy Penny and Rob Wright, Principal Paul Noble and the staff and students of Willowfield School, and the City of Toronto for stock, shovels, gloves, and mulch.

April 10: Santamonica-Birchmount Neighbourhood Association AGM
Founding Chair Andrew McCammon provided a short introduction about the TMP to the Annual General Meeting of this association and fielded energetic questions from the 25 attendees. Key issues of concern included e-coli pollution from storm sewers as well as ensuring trail linkages along the whole of the Creek. Special thanks to SBNA president Frisca Ozorio for the invitation.

April 22 – Community Clean-up, Taylor Creek Park

About 30 members of the Taylor Massey Dog-walkers club and members of the East York Outing Club picked up about 75 bags of garbage in this inaugural clean-up in Taylor Creek Park. Special thanks to organizers Grainne Ryder and Susan Hanrahan, the City of Toronto for the bags and gloves, and Jawny Bakers for the coffee.

April 22 – 2nd Annual Community Clean-up, St Claire Ravine Park

About 25 members of the Santamonica-Birchmount Neighbourhood Association gathered about 50 bags of garbage during the spring clean-up of this hidden gem of a park, on the north-west corner of Birchmount and St Clair avenues, with bags provided by the City of Toronto. Thanks to organizer Frisca Ozorio, Councillor Adrian Heaps and two-thirds of the staff from his office, Alan Burton from the Clairlea Neighbourhood Association, and whoever got in there ahead of us, stacking up a huge pile of garbage bags, shopping carts, and various other items.

April 29 - 2nd Annual Warden Woods Community Clean-up
Something went array in the publicity, and Councillor Adrian Heaps, his family, and staff from his office provided 6 or the 15 people who helped gather about 50 bags of garbage, some tires, a TV, and even, yes, a fridge and a kitchen sink in this second annual clean-up. Special thanks to Councillor Heaps and his family and staff, Bill MacDonald of the Friends of the Danforth, Tom Cundill of the Warden Woods Neighbourhood Association, and a special thanks to Alan Burton for wrestling with the fridge.

May 5 – Bird Identification Walk in Warden Woods
Our small group of 9 was perfect for this outing. Initial disappointment with clear skies that allowed all the migratory warblers we saw last time to not visit our local bird sanctuary eventually turned to some excitement as the TMP’s extraordinary bird leader Christine Jamieson helped us find all the hiding places. The high-light of the day may have been a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Sunday, May 6 – The 4th Annual Underwriters’ Corporate Community Celebration
This year, about half of the 112 planters who gathered to plant 325 trees and shrubs were the family members of our corporate partners, lending a new, festive atmosphere to the work. Not only did we get everything in and well mulched, we even mulched last year’s planting, which hadn’t received a lot of that due to last year’s torrential downpour. What a difference sunshine makes! Thanks to Toronto Hydro, Underwriters’ Laboratories Canada, Cadbury-Schweppes, and LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) Toronto, our MC, Councillor Michael Thompson, and the City of Toronto for stock, shovels, gloves, and mulch. This year’s planting brings total stock planted in the reach to 1,175 over the past 4 years.

Sunday, May 6 – The 13th Annual Farlinger Ravine Neighbourhood Clean-up and Planting
This year, 77 people came out to what we believe is one of the best, longest-lasting annual clean-ups in the City. In addition to picking up about 100 bags of garbage, we also managed to plant 100 trees and shrubs along the Creek, followed by a well-attended BBQ and pot-luck dinner at a local home. As usual, heaps of thanks to organizers Janet Klees, Harry Van Bommel, Bram, Joanna, and Peter, and a strong supporting cast of Councillor Adrian Heaps, the Parks Department, the Second Base Youth Shelter, the Church of the Epiphany, Pine Hills Cemetery, Bronco Press, Fred and Theresa's No Frills, and Giant Tiger.

Saturday, July 14 – Fourth Annual Underwriters Reach Maintenance Event
For the fourth year in a row, LEAF Toronto and the Vision Youth Leadership Program performed all-important pruning of recently-planted tress and shrubs, adding mulch to protect previous years’ plantings. Over 50 youth participated, as well as adult leaders and staff from LEAF. The City of Toronto provided the mulch, gloves, shovels, buckets, and other equipment, and for the first time in four years we had a temperate rather than a scorching day, making for a wonderful time. Special thanks to Janet McKay of LEAF and everyone at Youth Vision.

September 29, 2007: The third annual fundraising dinner, held September 19 and sponsored by the Bow and Arrow Pub & Restaurant and Creemore Springs Brewery, was a great success. The kind donations of food, beer, and the canoe for the raffle, along with the huge efforts from Patrick, Robert, Paula, Cassandra, and chef Mr White, resulted in our most successful fundraising event ever. Fifty attendees shared in good fun, sampled great food, sipped some fine ale, and listened to wonderful presentations by Katie Tucker of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and Ken Dion of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, each of whom was provided with a laptop-backpack thanks to Marks Work Wearhouse.

The canoe was initially won by Bruce Heron, who graciously put it up for auction, resulting in a winning bid of $350.00. Thanks to everyone, and best of wishes to Trevor Joyce and Brandon Fernandes in the use of the canoe.

Farlinger Ravine Planting, October 14 – Our fourth annual fall planting, coordinated by the Local Creek Committee lead by Janet, Harry, Bram, and Joanna, saw 25 people plant 150 trees and shrubs, courtesy of the City, followed by a great pot luck Chez Janet.

St Claire Ravine Planting, October 27 – Thirty people, including members of the TMP, the Santamonica-Birchmount Neighbourhood Association, and the Woodgreen Community Centre, planted 175 trees and shrubs donated by the City near the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Creek. Special thanks to Frisca Ozorio and Ashiya Desai.

2006 Event Summary

Earthday, Saturday, April 22 – The Third Annual Underwriters’ Reach Corporate Celebration

Well, it had to finally happen: we planted in the rain. Constant rain. Regardless, about 140 people turned out, and we managed both to do a small clean-up and to get 314 trees and shrubs in the ground, taking us over 850 for the last three years. The Reach is starting to look great, with many more birds. This is corporate leadership in local ecological restoration at its best, lead Toronto Hydro, Underwriters’ Laboratories Canada, LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) Toronto, and Cadbury-Adams, with the kind support of Councillor Thompson and staff from The City of Toronto.

Sunday, April 23 – The 11th Annual Farlinger Ravine Clean-up

Once again, the Farlinger Ravine Clean-up Group put on a great event, with about 65 people participating, including Mayor Miller, Councillor Altobello, the 4th West Scarborough Scout Troup, and the Second Base Youth Shelter, with kind donations from the Church of the Epiphany, Pine Hills Cemetery, Bronco Press, Legacies, and No Frills. The clean-up yielded about 40 bags of litter, 35 tires, various bits of metal, and 1 shopping cart. In addition, the local scouts planted 10 trees donated by the city’s Parks Department as well as 9 shrubs left over from the day before, provided by Toronto Hydro, which helped the local scouts get their badges.

Mid-week, April 24-28 - Terraview Willowfield Clean-up

Once again, Nancy Penny, Principal Sherriff-Scott and Terraview Willowfield school staff, as well as community volunteers co-ordinated this annual clean-up. About 350 students worked in 20-minute shifts with their classes to clean up this award-winning concept site. Over 15 bags of litter were collected. Drinks, gloves, and hand wipes were provided this year courtesy of Walton Advocates.

Sunday, May 7 – St Claire Ravine Clean-up

Members of the Santa Monica Birchmount Neighbourhood Association were supposed to do a quick clean-up! of the St Clair Ravine, and then wander over the Warden Woods event, but somebody totally under-estimated the detritus. Fifteen members worked hard for 2 hours, cleaning up over 30 bags of litter, 2 shopping carts, 1 propane cannister, and other assorted garbage. Staff from the City also worked hard linking this satellite activity with the main event at Warden Woods, running extra bags, gloves, food, and water over to the stranded group. Undaunted, the SMBNA and the TMP will make this a separate event next year.

Sunday, May 7 – Warden Woods Community Clean-up

This first effort of the TMP to clean up Warden Woods by linking numerous organizations to tackle what is otherwise too large a natural treasure for any one group was a great success, bringing together 58 people from 10 organizations. Supporters and participants included Councillor Altobello and the City of Toronto, the Warden Woods Neighbourhood Association, the Clairlea Neighbourhood Association, the Friends of the Danforth, and the Toronto Environmental Volunteers, with refreshments provided courtesy of the Ranka Group of Companies, Crompton Corp, and The J. Walton House.
Almost 50 large bags of garbage were collected, along with 1 shopping cart, 1 propane cannister, a few old bikes, and many pieces of rusting metal.

Sunday June 11 - Tour of the Upper Watershed’s Possible Cycling Paths

Every year, we seem to have one event that gets almost no turnout. This one had one TMP member, Councillor Michael Thompson, Dan Egan from the City’s Transportation Department, and Dan’s wife. While the turnout was snookered by a comedy of publicity errors and soccer’s World Cup, Councillor Thompson briefed us on efforts to establish lights and crosswalks where the cycling trail in the Gatineau hydro line intercepts Victoria Park, Pharmacy, Warden, and Birchmount. We then were able to share with Mr Egan the prospect of establishing one north-south cycling trail along the Creek from the Gatineau line up to Lawrence, and then along Ellington almost all the way to Ellesmere, and another within the Warden Hydro Corridor, all the way from Terraview-Willowfield and Ellesmere back to the Gatineau line just north of Eglinton. Mr Egan felt that this route might be considered as an alternate to a proposed on-road cycling trail along Pharmacy. See our letter in Submissions to Local Agencies.

Sunday July 23 - Second Annual Cycling Tour of Lower Watershed Regeneration Issues with Toronto Bay Initiative

Twenty-two cyclists, most members of TBI, started this tour, with about 8 taking off when the rain hit, 6 more melting away quietly as it continued, and 8 sticking it out to the end. With the vast majority of participants being down-towners, most got to see the wonders of Warden Woods and the Goulding Estate, as well as some of the upstream sewer outfalls that contribute to the closure of waterfront’s beaches, for the first time, making this a very successful effort to integrate upstream and lakefront watershed concerns. A big thanks to Toronto Bay Initiative.

Saturday, August 12 - Third Annual Underwriters Reach Maintenance Event

For the third year in a row, LEAF Toronto and the Vision Youth Leadership Program performed hot drudgery pruning tress and shrubs and adding mulch to protect the spring’s planting. Over 50 youth participated, as well as adult leaders and staff from LEAF. Toronto Hydro provided the mulch, the City of Toronto provided gloves, shovels, buckets, and other equipment, and Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada ensured access to their washrooms. Due to tough local conditions, this annual maintenance is truly needed to maximize survival rates. Thanks to all the Reach partners.

Saturday, September 16 - Second Annual Fundraising Dinner

The new format for the annual dinner was a succulent success, with the earlier hour encouraging the attendance of some of our younger members and creating an enhanced family atmosphere. About 45 people enjoyed the fantastic Bow and Arrow dinner options, while enjoying Creemore beer, and another 20 purchased raffle tickets for the Canoe. We were also able to provide rain jackets as thank-you’s to core volunteers, as well as raffle a few others off, thanks to Marks Work Wearhouse. In addition to being fun, the evening filled our coffers for 2007. Special thanks to Patrick, Sean, and Jen.

Tuesday, October 17 - Terraview Willowfield: A Progress Report and Vision for the Future

Knowledgeable and caring staff from the City provided excellent presentations and fielded numerous questions from 45 local residents who attended yet another rainy 2006 event. The rain reduced the pre-event walk to about 5 people, but did not dampen the rest of the evening. Mingdi Yang of Toronto Water gave an update on the functionality of the underground storm treatment pond; Alex Shevchuk of Parks, Forestry & Recreation provided an informative history of both the City’s cycling plans and the Warden Hydro Corridor; and Joanne Di Caro, also of Toronto Water, updated the meeting on the storm outfall water quality testing program and the City’s actions on dealing with sanitary flow found to be coming into the Creek. Although unable to attend, Garth Armour of Parks sent a promise of support for the TMP’s request for stock to increase plantings within Terraview Willowfield. Finally, Councillor Norm Kelly, who had helped co-ordinate staff presence, expressed his desire to continue to work with the community, seeking to maintain a balance of ecological, community, and financial concerns. Our thanks to Councillor Kelly and the great staff from the City, as well as to TMP Chair Nancy Penny for local publicity and for facilitating a rollicking head table with 8 people!

Sunday, October 22: Farlinger Ravine Planting & Networking Session

Yes: another event and MORE rain, but the clouds parted and 20 people showed up to increase the density of past plantings with another 50 trees and shrubs. Most of the team headed to the home of the family of the local Reach co-ordinators for coffee and cake afterward, and had a full discussion on numerous local concerns. The usual thanks to Janet, Harry, Bram, Joanna, and Deb, as well as to the City for the stock.

2005 Event Summary

February 9, 2005
Presentation to Toronto Environmental Volunteers
The TMP made a presentation to about 30 members of the TEV, fielding questions on the project fielding a series of questions on the project and attracting a number of new volnteers.

April 9
Presentation to AGM, District 5, Ontario Horticultural Association, hosted by the East York Garden Club and the Leaside Garden Society
Over 175 people saw the TMP’s powerpoint presentation and asked many excellent questions on protecting local water quality and natural heritage, and the TMP received a kind donation from the two local clubs. Special thanks to Sheila Whiteley and Malcolm Geast for the invitation and logistics support.

April 17
Underwriters’ Reach Corporate Earth Day Celebration

Over 200 people participated in this year's event, with introductory comments from Councillor Michael Thompson, Toronto Hydro Electric System President Jim Black, and Underwriters' Laboratories Canada President & General
Manager Martin Oughton. Almost 100 bags of litter were removed from along the eastern side of the Creek as part of the Mayor's 20-minute Make Over; last year's effort of almost 300 plants, which are doing quite well, were re-mulched; and 250 more trees and shrubs were planted, this time south of Crouse. Special thanks to:

  • Toronto Hydro Corporation for providing 90 trees and shrubs, as well as hats, water, and sunscreen, co-ordinating media outreach, and for the staff, food, and all the fixings for the fantastic BBQ;
  • Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests, lead by Janet McKay, for co-ordinating volunteers who provided demonstrations, supervision, and encouragement to the planters;
  • The City of Toronto for support staff, shovels, gloves, and 160 trees and shrubs; and
  • All the members of the steering committee, especially Hydro's Paul Reesor and ULC's Rose Marie Thompson, for planning another great success.

April 22
Terraview Willowfield Clean-up

Local reach co-ordinator Nancy Penny lead approximately 300 students from Terraview-Willowfield PS on a clean-up of the Terraview Willowfield concept site. This is a yearly earth day event that every class participated in for 20 minutes and coincided with the Mayor’s 20-minute make over. The day was a great success. It was noted that the amount of garbage in the park was less than that of previous years. This is an indicator that the use of the park as an out door classroom by the school, and their continued environmental education has given the students and community ownership of the park encouraging responsible behavior. Special thanks to Nancy, school Principal Barbara Sheriff-Scott and all the staff, the students and community volunteers for continuing to be involved in this great community resource.

Sunday, April 24
10th Annual Farlinger Ravine Clean-up
The rain held off and over 125 people lent a hand in this largest-ever turn-out for a Taylor Massey residential clean-up. Councillor Gerry Altobello provided some opening words of encouragement and 12 trees from City Forestry, Father William Cruse blessed the Creek, a local family provided 4 additional trees grown from seed in their back yard, and the pot luck supper provided a great opportunity for relaxation and neighbourly chat. Special thanks to Scarborough 4th West Scouting, the great group this year from Second Base Youth Shelter, the local Food Basics for yet again supplying us with hot dogs and pop, the Parks Department of the City for their usual support, the Church of the Epiphany, and to Janet, Harry, Bram, Joanna, Deb and a proud core of neighbours for once again organizing one of the best clean-ups in the City.

Sunday, May 15
3rd Annual Birding Event in Warden Woods
We really lucked out this year, with a date picked by experienced birder Christine Jamieson that allowed our small group of 11 to identify 33 species of birds in the park, up from 23 last year, with many of the new ones migratory warblers probably just passing through. The list is provided below.

Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay
Brown-headed Cowbird
Grosbeak, Rose-breasted
Hawk – (species)
Herring Gull
Northern Flicker
Nuthatch, Red-breasted

Redwinged Blackbird
Scarlet Tanager
Sparrow, House
Spotted Sandpiper
Verio, Warbling
Vireo, Red-eyed
Woodpecker – (species)


Black-throated Green
Black and White

Sunday, May 29
Hike of the Warden Hydro Corridor with Councillors Kelly and Thompson

This walk, despite of a small turnout of 12, took place at a time that coincided with or presented us with three important shifts in momentum for a trail within and extensive naturalization of the Corridor. These shifts are:

  • At its meeting of May 17, City of Toronto Council approved a plan identifying the Corridor as future greenspace, with trail;
  • Councillor Kelly, whose ward extends from north of the 401 down to Ellesmere and who has returned for another term on the TRCA, spoke very supportively about restoring the base flow of the Creek, which has been diverted to Highland Creek north of the 401, back to Taylor Massey, a TMP recommendation to the City’s Wet Weather Flow master lan, and which would improve both local water quantity and water quality; about implementing the already-completed naturalization plans for the area of the Corridor from the Terraview Willowfield school south to Ellesmere; and about connecting the existing bicycle trail north of the 401 to the Corridor; and,
  • Councillor Thompson shared with us a vision he has been working on for the establishment of a parking lot and outdoor meeting area on the north side of where the Corridor meets Lawrence. With benches and other outdoor amenities, this area could become a major gathering place for people wishing to hike north or south on the Taylor Massey Trail, supported by a traffic light proposed a half-block west of the Corridor.

The Taylor Massey Project welcomes all three developments, and pledges to work with the City to help make them realities as soon as possible.

Saturday, June 4
Exploring Warden Woods
Participation in this walk was unfortunately squeezed by a series of outside events that reduced us to a rump of three, the most important being the scheduling by the City of an all-day public consultation, from 10 am to 4 pm, on the re-development of Warden Avenue from the old Power Centre to the Danforth, and that involved many of the members from the Warden Woods area we had hoped would join us. After our small walk, the Chair was able to attend the afternoon session of the public meeting, which lead to the development of a submission to the City’s Planning and Transportation Committee meeting of October 6 to seek the development of a master plan for the long-term protection of the ecological integrity of the Woods. See Submissions to local agencies for details.

August 12
Underwriters’ Road Mulching Event with LEAF and Youth Vision

Forty members of Youth Vision worked for almost three hours, in the hot sun, spreading mulch on over 275 trees and shrubs planted by Toronto Hydro and ULC in 2004 and the spring of 2005. This effort was coordinated almost entirely by LEAF Toronto, which plays a lead role in tree planting efforts along this reach with Toronto Hydro, ULC, and the City. Thanks to Janet, Steve, and Hoppa.

Click to see larger image

Monday, September 12
The TMP Fundraising Dinner
The Bow and Arrow Pub & Restaurant hosted out first annual dinner, with extensive support from Creemore Springs Brewery, Thirty-six attendees had a great time, heard a fantastic presentation from Krytsyn Tully of Lake Ontario Keeper, and almost $1,500 went into the bank. Thanks to all.

Friday, September 16
Presentation to Visitors from Paraguay
The TMP’s unique and highly successful model of establishing Reach Stewardship Groups along the Creek was the focus of a presentation to a small group of visiting watershed specialists from Paraguay, being hosted in Toronto by FutureWatch.

Sunday, September 18
Tree Identification Walk with LEAF
A small group of 13 was lead through a fun and informative Tree Identification Walk by Wendy Strickland of LEAF. The walk also served to launch of our Warden Woods Ecosystem Inventory, as described under What’s New.

Wednesday, September 28
Presentation to Toronto Environmental Volunteers

The TMP made a powerpoint presentation and fielded questions to about 20 members of the Toronto Environmental Volunteers on the TM watershed and the goals and efforts of the Project.

Saturday, October 15
Heritage Walk through the Goulding Reach
Following 4 days of grey skies and rain, the clouds parted and 67 people enjoyed a walk of the reach and a short visit to the Goulding Estate. Local resident David Bowring provided a description of the history of the area, which was the site of a model farm where Walter Massey introduced pasturization to the Toronto dairy industry, and TMP Chair Andrew McCammon described some of the local ecological features and issues.

Sunday, October 23
Fall Foliage Walk of Taylor Creek Park, with the Toronto Trails Festival

Extensive rain and, silly us, the closing of the DVP finally did it to us: we actually had an event with NO participants. We’ll re-tool next year with the Festival, and pick a date the Parkway isn’t closed.

Sunday, November 6
Fall Planting in Farlinger Ravine

The morning squalls and thunder (!) ended just in time, and 26 intrepid souls, demonstrating qualities beyond the call of duty, worked hard planting 150 new trees and shrubs and mulching those plus all the stock planted previously. There are no medals for this sort of thing, so all interested were treated to pizza. Thanks as usual to Janet, Harry, Bram, and Joanna for local co-ordination, hard work, and warm hospitality at their home.

2004 Event Summary

Sunday, April 18

Over 150 participants from Toronto Hydro, LEAF, Underwriters Laboratories Canada, with a few members of the TMP, planted almost 300 trees and shrubs in a first effort to restore this reach of Taylor Massey Creek.In addition to an initial supply of planting stock from the City, Toronto Hydro made a huge investment in the effort, providing funds for additional trees, a fantastic barbeque, a festive atmosphere for over 100 of their employees, and installing a gate in their back fence for planting and future access. Thanks all!

Saturday, April 24: 10 am
To prepare for the public event the next day (See April 25), 65 staff, parents, and teenage supporters of Community Care East York planted a perimeter of 90 sumac around the easternmost edge of Taylor Creek Park, followed by an interpretive tour of the riparian edge of the Goulding Estate.

Saturday, April 24: 1 pm
A new Reach Stewardship Group has joined our efforts to help restore Taylor Massey Creek. The new group held a clean-up, with about 35 people, in the Eglinton Ravine.

Sunday, April 25: 10:00 am
Over 60 people, including Councillor Janet Davis, staff from Parks, the Danforth East Association of Ratepayers, members of the TMP and Friends of the Don East braved a low temperature, strong morning winds, and sporadic downpours to plant 300 pieces of stock to naturalize 600 square metres of Taylor Creek Park at Dawes Road.

Saturday, May 8: 1 - 4 pm
The hail let up, then turned into a driving rain, but 42 dauntless people turned out for a great clean-up. The reach looks the cleanest it has in years. Thanks to Janet and Harry, who co-ordinated the local turnout, barbequed under 2 marquees, and welcomed about 30 people into their home.

Saturday, May 15: 2 pm
After a great start to huge turnouts for spring events, we had rain, again – but no hail. Nonetheless, about 12 people, including Councillor Norm Kelly, local champion Nancy Penny, and Peter Hare & members of the Lost Rivers Society, had a great walk and discussed even more restoration.

Sunday, May 16: 9 am
Fifteen people turned out for a great walk, lead by Christine Jamieson, who helped us identify 23 species, including a Scarlet Tanager. We also got to see a tremendous dog-fight between two male Northern Orioles. Warden Woods rules!

Saturday, September 25, 10:00 - noon
Twenty people gathered and planted almost an acre with 175 trees and shrubs, with funding from the Toronto Trees and Parks Foundation and additional stock provided by the City.

Saturday, October 2, 10:00 - noon
FODE board member Michael Dennison lead a fascinating tour along a private trail through the woods that line Taylor Massey Creek as it flows through Pine Hills Cemetery. A threatening forecast kept the numbers low, but allowed for excellent information exchange among the 11 participants.

October 17, 9 - noon
Sponsored by the City of Toronto, The Toronto & Region Conservation Authority, and Grassroots Environmental Products, over 45 people hiked four sections of Taylor Massey Creek, getting to better understand the wonderful natural resource it represents.

October 23, 10:00 - 11:30 am
Twenty-two people, including members of the Warden Woods Neighbourhood Association and Parents without Partners, joined members of the TMP in brilliant sunshine and great fall colours as we walked this unspoiled jewel of Taylor Massey Creek.

2003 Event Summary

Saturday, April 26
About 20 people, including members of the Scarborough 97th scout troop, did a spectacular job cleaning up the eastern side of about a kilometer of the top of bank trail and its edge, from Underwriters Road north to Lawrence. Thanks to all who participated!

Sunday, May 4
Seventy people pulled 33 shopping carts, 31 tires, sundry chairs, sofas and other material, as well as countless bags of garbage, out of Taylor Massey from Foxridge up to the railway line, followed by a community BBQ at Janet and Harry's home. Great job guys.

Sunday, May 25
Pine Hills head Arborist Jack Radecki led a wonderful morning walk by 24 people along the Creek-side nature trail and through an impressive 10 acre woodlot, seeing many of the cemetery's 200 species and 17,000 trees. Did you know there are blue trees?

Sunday, June 1
A chilly morning and a brisk wind kept the turnout of both humans and birds low, but increased the camaraderie and enjoyment of the 18 committed souls who took part. Catch us again next year!

Saturday, October 18 at 10 am
Twenty-two people planted 200 trees and shrubs in Farlinger Ravine, overlooking Taylor Massey Creek.

Saturday, November 1 at 10 am
FODE members Paula Davies and Stephen Smith graciously led a walk to help identify special locations requiring protection and candidate areas for future regeneration. About 30 people participated at various stages of this long and wonderful walk.